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Sex Establishments: Licensing

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent representations the Government have received on changes to licensing laws associated with lap dancing establishments. (228890)

[holding answer 21 October 2008]: My Department has received a number of general inquiries from hon. Members, local authorities, interest groups and members of the public on the subject of lap dancing. I wrote to chief executives of local authorities on 18 June 2008 to clarify the powers available under the Licensing Act 2003 and to seek their views on whether these, and other controls, are sufficient to respond to the concerns of local people. This attracted 117 responses, the majority of which felt that additional legislation should be introduced to provide controls which are specific to lap dancing and similar premises.

The Home Secretary, who leads on this issue because of her wider responsibilities for public indecency, sexual exploitation and prostitution announced in September that the Government would seek to amend existing legislation to give communities and local authorities greater powers to control the opening and regulation of lap-dancing clubs.

A separate Home Office consultation on Government proposals in relation to control of the sex industry, including the regulation of lap-dancing clubs, closed on 8 October 2008 and received 67 responses. These came from a variety of organisations from the third sector, local authorities and the industry.